A WEST Cork woman has been announced as the next ambassador to the Holy See.
The Minster for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, has nominated Darrara native Frances Collins to be Ireland’s representative at the Vatican.
Bishop Fintan Gavin of the Diocese of Cork and Ross congratulated Ms Collins on her nomination.
‘Ireland has a long history of being well served by its ambassadors across the world. It is a great honour for her family, her home parish of Clonakilty and our diocese that she had been nominated to this role.
‘It is also a particular joy for Ms Collins to know that she will be in regular contact with the Holy Father Pope Francis during her time working in Rome. I look forward to being in contact with her and I assure her of any support I can give as she takes up this special position.’
Frances attended Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty and she’s a frequent visitor to the area, where her mother, and other members of the family still live. Fr Ted Collins, PP Dunmanway, is her uncle.
Frances has been working internally in the department up to this and will take up her new role in Rome next summer.
Women made up half of the 22 ambassadorial appointments approved by the government in this latest announcement.
Minister Coveney said: ‘I welcome these new appointments which are a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to deliver on the ambition of the Global Ireland programme by expanding our global footprint with the planned opening of four new missions. This will bring to 18 the total number of new missions opened under the Global Ireland initiative by the end of 2022.
‘I am also pleased to see the ongoing efforts by the Department of Foreign Affairs in its efforts to reach an improved gender balance in senior-level positions, both at headquarters and at our missions abroad.’